Animals

Return of the Snow Geese

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One of the most exciting things about winter where I live (often the ONLY exciting thing) is the return of the snow geese and swans to fields just a few miles away.

I first noticed they were back last Wednesday when I was on my way to Snohomish. I stopped near Campbell’s Tree Farm on Springhetti Road to take photos of the flags they had on their fence for Veteran’s Day.

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When I got out of my car, I heard it; one of my favorite winter sounds, the sound of geese honking. Thousands of them! They were in a field on the other side of the railroad tracks so I could only see the ones that were flying.

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I tried zooming in but the 210 mm reach of my lens was pretty inadequate.

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But I didn’t care that I couldn’t get close enough to take good pictures. I could hear them and I was mesmerized by watching clouds of them rise and then fall back to the far off field, honking all the while. To me, the sound of geese is the sound of November and a sign of the approaching winter. I stood there for the longest time, just watching and listening. I wished, not for the first time, that the valley wasn’t so flood prone, because I would like to live there.

Flooding is actually what brought us back to the valley on Sunday. We went out to look at the swollen river and flooded fields and found the snow geese in the strip of fields that lie between Hwy 9 and Springhetti Road. I got out and took photos while Don and Smarty waited in the warm car.

I hope to find the geese so close to the road on a sunnier day so I can use a faster shutter speed and hopefully get sharper photos. But mostly I just hope to see them and hear them many times throughout the winter. I love our visitors from the Arctic tundra!

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14 thoughts on “Return of the Snow Geese

  1. Great photos – especially the close ups of them in flight. We have a large park near us with a lake and I love to hear them noisily flying over in their ‘V’ formations! We only have about 20th of this number though!!

    1. It would be wonderful to have them fly over to land on the lake like that! The snow geese never come up the hill where I live but a flock of Canadian Geese will fly over once in awhile.

  2. If you love geese as much as I love Geese and ducks then I hope you will love the The Snow Goose: A Story of Dunkirk by Paul Gallico. There is a film but I don’t know if it is available now. I’m sure you could find a copy of the book in a secondhand shop or even on Amazon. But you must read it. I used to read it to my English and History classes for years and even the tough disruptive boys were engrossed. Thanks for the photos. I love them.

    1. Thank you for telling me about the book! I looked it up online and when I read what it was about I got goose bumps. I absolutely have to find a copy of it to read. It sounds just like my kind of story.

  3. What an amazing sight.
    I would be mesmerised too.

    When lots of birds are around I can spend hours just observing them.

    (I’ve now got 5 Doves feeding on my balcony each day. But there’s still one that keeps fighting and trying to scare the others off. My Sony is repaired and ready for pick-up so I’ll try to get some images of all 5 together if I can. The DSLR 50mm lens is hopeless for these shots).

    1. Hooray for your Sony being repaired and ready for pick-up! And for attracting 5 doves to your balcony! I had a lone mourning dove visit my yard a few weeks ago. I was hoping it would come back and bring friends but I haven’t seen it since. I would be in heaven if I had doves visit my balcony every day!

    1. I’m glad you don’t mind the lack of sharpness! I’m not sure if it’s me, my lenses, the lack of light or the moisture in our air but my distance shots never turn out very sharp. Oh well, not very sharp is how I see everything anymore so I guess my not-sharp shots are just showing the world the way I see it!

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